Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Tavel, one of France’s few all-rosé appellations on the right bank in the southern rhône. Its historic reputation is still sufficient to justify a sometimes unwarranted price premium over other rosés, although Tavel at its best manages to combine refreshment with interest and concentration of flavour. Tavel was already favoured by Louis XIV in the 18th century, and writers Balzac and Mistral continued to promulgate its superiority.

The wine is always bone dry, but the Grenache and Cinsaut grapes give the blend a certain apparent sweetness. Chilling is essential, and the wine should be drunk young, as an alternative to red wine in hot weather. Grenache in all three hues is the dominant grape variety, as throughout the southern Rhône, and should constitute between 30 and 60% of the blend.